Today is my 1-year blogiversary. Unlike most other one-year bloggers, I have not developed a philosophy of blogging, and I have no interest in revisiting popular posts. So I’ll stick to my recent Sunday routine highlighting my discoveries in the freshly indexed 1940 US Census.
Rather than continue with my closest relatives, though, I decided to pick an ancestor for whom August 26 would have been special. As luck would have it, one of them lived long enough to be enumerated in 1940.
Margaret Elizabeth “Maggie” Meadows, my second cousin twice removed, married Casper Monroe Bailey on August 26, 1889, in Page County, Virginia. Anniversaries are usually happy times, but Casper and Maggie enjoyed only seventeen such occasions together because poor Maggie died in March 1906 at age 36. Their sweet baby Gracey had died just months before in October 1905. Perhaps they were victims of some epidemic like Scarlet Fever, which was the latest scourge in a neighboring county.
Casper’s sad life started much earlier than 1905 and lasted much longer. He first appeared in the 1880 census for Shenandoah County, Virginia, as an eleven-year old boy “taken in to raise” by Philip Frederick (age 75) and his three adult children. What happened to his parents is not known, but Casper’s mother “Sis Bailey” is named on Casper and Maggie’s marriage record, August 26, 1889, Page County, Virginia.
In 1900, Casper and Maggie along with three children seemed to be a typical farm family. But by 1910, four years after the deaths of Gracey and Maggie, Casper was doing odd jobs and living as a widowed uncle with Charles and Dorthy Lam while his children were scattered among family and friends.
Poor ol’ Casper never remarried and seemed never to recover financially. In census records for 1930 and 1940, Casper (age 71) was living with his daughter Bertha and her family. The 1940 census reveals that Casper never completed any schooling .
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Casper died in 1943 and is buried in the Jollett United Methodist Church Cemetery where Maggie and Gracey are buried. He has no tombstone, just a mortuary marker.
Margret E. Bailey
Died Mar. 31, 1906
age 36 yrs
Well, that was a cheerful look at August 26.